Banning the Burqa: French Law and Religious Symbols

Date: 
Wednesday, April 6, 2011 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: 
Smith Buonanno 106
Speakers: 
Francois Briard & Michael Stokes Paulson

This debate will discuss a new French law which prohibits all concealing of the face in public spaces after April 11th, 2011. The French believe their ban on Burqas is a minimum requirement of community life, and is necessary for reasons of security and the protection of the dignity of women. Francois Briard, one of France's most prestigious lawyers, will defend the Burqa ban as being compatible with constitutional rights and the European Convention of Human Rights. University of St. Thomas Professor Michael Stokes Paulsen will argue against the Burqa ban on the grounds that it infringes on the right to freely exercise one's religion.

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